practice, humor, creativity, stamina and guts
Finding a Future in Agriculture: An Apprentice's Journey
By Amber Reed
Before the Quivira Conference in Albuquerque last fall, I had read only a little by Aldo Leopold. At the beginning of A Sand County Almanac I read: “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” A man ahead of his time, Leopold nailed our modern psyche.
Recently, I heard an interviewer on the radio ask a rancher if he thought there was a future in ranching and farming. I thought, “Well, plastic sure is tasty, what kind of a question is that?!” So here is my answer to that interviewer. “Yes, there is a future in agriculture, but it takes practice, humor, creativity, stamina and guts.”
I decided to apply for The Quivira Coalition’s CARLY (Conservation and Ranching Leadership and Youth) Ranch Manager Apprenticeship (www.quiviracoalition.org) at the San Juan Ranch in Colorado while I was a public school teacher in Leadville. I had almost made the jump to farming after high school when I deferred from college and worked on farms in France and Italy. When I returned, though, I went to Bowdoin College and didn’t decide to start farming again until five years later.
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